Book Nerd's Night Out: Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

 

February is over, and another Epic Reads Book Club at The Bookmark has passed. This month, the chosen book was the YA fantasy novel Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye. This book is the first one she has published after finishing her Crown’s Game duology. Her new book, the first in a fantasy duology, has a striking cover and an equally awesome story.

It follows Sora and her gemina Daemon, who are two apprentices of the Taigas in the kingdom of Kichona, who one day during a routine scouting mission discover a mysterious army. Realizing that their kingdom is in danger, they infiltrate the army in honor to save everyone. Sora and Daemon eventually discover secrets that may threaten to tear them apart forever.

 

This book was very entertaining despite being a little slow in its narration at first. That is to be expected since it sets up a lot of the story for the sequel. My favorite part of the book was definitely the world building. I loved how intricate the detailing behind how the world worked was, the pink palace of Kichona, the gemina bonds and the animal magic (people can shapeshift into animals, it’s awesome). I loved the world of Kichona and I can’t wait to read more about it in the sequel that comes out in January 2020. The characters are all very well written and since we get multiple points of view, we get to know each one of them even more. My personal favorite was Daemon, aka Wolf, he was great, he had blue hair and stole my heart from page one. Sora, aka Spirit, was also written really well and she had a lot of good moments and showed to be incredibly strong. Despite a slow beginning, the ending of the book definitely leaves us hanging and wishing for more.

Evelyn Skye was incredibly fun to chat with. She is a very funny person and she was excited to talk to all of us. She spoke about her writing process, and it was very relatable since she doesn’t outline and just writes as she goes. This wing-it process made her write over thirteen drafts of Circle of Shadows due to how much she had to fix because she didn’t plan ahead.

Skye explained how the story came to be. She had finished her first book, Crown’s Game, and it was on submission and in honor for her not to go crazy waiting to see if any publishers would buy it, she started writing another one to distract herself. Eventually, her first novel sold and the publishing house also bought Circle of Shadows and the rest is history.

Evelyn studied Russian history in college, and all of that knowledge she gained was what she used for Crown’s Game, but Circle of Shadows is a completely new world that she created from scratch. It was completely made up because she felt like it wouldn’t work if it were based off real history and cultures. She went through the process of creating it from scratch and explained that since she doesn’t plan ahead, she had to redo the magic system because it didn’t make sense at first.

Since there are aspects of the book that are similar to those seen in The Golden Compass and The Shadowhunters Chronicles, she was asked if she was inspired by those series and she revealed that she hadn’t read them before writing her book, but now she is interested in them and is happy that her books remind readers of other series they love, because it makes her happy that her readers are happy.

During another moment, one of the book club attendees praised her writing in one particular scene and then asked if she had planned it to be that way, she went and looked for her copy to look for the scene and confessed that she had actually planned it. She said that for the sequel, she started outlining and it has been a difficult process, but useful. I personally told her to not kill Daemon in the sequel because I love him dearly.

In the end, she recommended two books: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch. It was a pleasure to chat with Evelyn and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Join us for a very exciting book club next month, this time it will be held on Thursday, March 28th, 2019 and the book is: ON THE COME UP by Angie Thomas, the author of The Hate U Give! This is super exciting.

 

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4